Has it really been almost two years since I last wrote about a new episode of The Venture Bros.? Yup, seems so. And now here we are, with 2012 winding down, and we finally have a new episode from Jackson and Doc -- "A Very Venture Halloween." It's the first holiday-themed installment of the show since "A Very Venture Christmas" all the way back at the end of season one in 2004. Alright, enough history -- let's get into it. This episode was damn good, and sets the table quite nicely for the upcoming fifth season of the show. For awhile I thought this was going to be a typically light-hearted standalone episode, but Doc Hammer (who wrote this one) took things in a very dramatic direction toward the end. Let's get the frivolity out of the way first -- Dr. Venture and Sgt. Hatred han...
I'll get the unpleasantness out of the way right now - the Billy Quizboy/Pete White-centric Venture Bros. episodes need to stop for awhile. Billy and Pete are not nearly as interesting as Jackson and Doc seem to think they are, and diving deeper into their pasts, their relationship, or their neuroses doesn't really make for compelling television. Oh yeah, and I didn't see a Monstroso-heavy plot coming. Not sure they really know what to do with the character, outside of the deep voice and jokes about his size. Isn't he really just a more normal version of Baron Ünderbheit, a character they ditched for a few seasons? (more…)
One of the ways you can gauge the strength of a show's is not how well they produce original plots and storylines, but how they rework old tropes into an entertaining package. It's sort of like how Led Zeppelin made the blues into something you didn't have to force yourself to enjoy. The Venture Brothers did much the same in its first season by repackaging a litany of hackneyed cartoon plots from the '60s and '70s into a wholly fresh enterprise. Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer migrated away from that more obtuse approach as the series progressed, preferring instead to develop a more intricate, original mythology. Every once in awhile, however, Doc and Jackson kick it old school and produce a self-contained story that feels more like a fun one-off than a very important episode. "A
So how do I go about getting me one of those Statutory Ape t-shirts? Or for that matter, an Innerspace DVD? Oh hey, welcome back Venture Bros.! It's been far too long. Anyway, we are finally ready to resume the fourth season, and "The Diving Bell vs. The Butter-Glider" does it in classic style. No heavy myth exploration, no huge character growth, just lots of great dialogue and action. And that's a great way to dive back into the show. So about the title - it's an homage to a novel called The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, about a man who awakes from a coma unable to communicate other than by blinking his left eye. That's pretty much how we find ol' Rusty at the beginning of the episode, except that he's in Sgt. Hatred's jeep and is being trailed by the flying cocoon (pilo
Setup episodes can be very tricky to pull off. They've got to provide enough information to set the stage for what is to come, and yet be entertaining in and of themselves. Too much information and the story becomes cluttered, and not very fun to watch. But make things too subtle, and the episode can seem like a one-off at best, a throwaway at worst. So how does "ORB", an obvious setup episode, fare? Pretty well, thankfully. The mystery kicks off in the cold open, as the too-smart-for-his-own-good Billy Quizboy pulls a Beautiful Mind and unravels a hidden message in his copies of the old Rusty Venture cartoon. It's a set of coordinates leading to the Venture Compound, in what turns out to be Brock's herb garden. When Brock refuses to help dig, it's up to Hank to do the work
For a guy who earned two doctorates in the space of a few months, Dr. Jonas Venture Jr. sure can be a dummy sometimes. Dredging up the past, now matter how well-intentioned, is typically a bad idea when super-scientists, adventurers, and their arch nemeses are involved. This week we delve deep into the past of some significant people and places. In an action-packed flashback we see Dr. Jonas Venture going undercover (barely) to infiltrate the Fraternity of Torment (Scaramantualla, Manotaur, and Brainula), who have taken little Rusty hostage. In storms the original Team Venture - Col. Gentleman, Ook-Ook, Kano, Otto Aquarius, Speedy, a very large Dr. Entmann as Humungeloid, and a psychotic Action Man, who goes apeshit and unloads two gun clips into a hapless henchman - to save Rusty
Well that was...f&@*ed up. It seems poor Doc Venture is once again left to clean up one of his father's messes. And speaking of Jonas Venture, the shine sure has come off his apple this season, eh? The action this week returns to Venture Industries - deep below Venture Industries, in fact (just how friggin' big is this place anyway?). Rusty and Brock drop through the floor of the compound and find themselves trapped in different areas of what's revealed to be a giant nuclear fallout shelter. While Brock ends up chatting with a miniaturized cohort of the late Dr. Venture (the cleverly named Dr. Paul Entmann), Rusty fares considerably less well. It turns out the shelter is still inhabited, and has been since a 1978 accident forced its closure. Well, maybe accident is stret
I came to an important realization while watching last night's episode of The Venture Bros. - of all the characters in the Ventureverse, the pair of Pete White and Master Billy Quizboy is my least favorite. So read my take on this episode with that in mind. As with the premiere episode of the season, "The Invisible Hand of Fate" is devoted to flashbacks intended to provide insight into some characters (in this case, the aforementioned Pete White and Master Billy Quizboy). We learn that the pair were in cahoots on a quiz show (Quizboys, which White hosted) in a setup obviously recalling the 1950s game show scandals. When Billy's scam is uncovered, the pair are exiled and take to the underground quiz circuit to raise money for a trip to Venture Industries (where they hope to gain e...